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Affordable IT: Securing Your IM Systems

Your end users are going to use Instant Messaging systems--with or without IT's blessing. Find out how to keep your network safe and secure, whether your IM app is public


Try as you might, though, you can't ignore IM. Approximately 85 percent of U.S. and Canadian companies are using it, with 88 percent of those using IM on public networks, according to a 2004 survey by The Radicati Group (for more on this see "Free IM Is Hard To Beat In The Enterprise").

IM has some good selling points: It lets people collaborate and communicate easily, discovers presence information without the need for expensive groupware or voice-over-IP products, reduces reliance on e-mail or telephones for simple messaging and lets decentralized staff communicate with the main office in a way that lets them feel more like part of the team. Despite the fear of emoticons and ridiculous abbreviations littering the business landscape, many workers depend on IM to collaborate and it can offer a significant productivity boost. You just need to keep it secure without breaking the bank.

Public vs. Private

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